What is a Business Memo

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In an organisation, for its smooth functioning, communication is very essential.

Communication is done with external target audience through the means of mass communication, and with internal target audience is done through all those means that can influence the behaviour and attitude of internal public, can persuade and encourage them and help in the functioning of an organisation.

Internal means of communication can include e-mails, letters, journals and business memos. A business memo is a formal message that is written in conventional and standard form.

Usually it is addressed to the members of an organisation, who have to fulfill a specific need. Definitely, the writer writes it with an expectation of receiving a response, so as to solve a problem and use the information received for appropriate decision making.

Business memos serve several other purposes too, like they help in describing what the problem is, can be in the form of a request for something specific, and can be an explanation of company’s policies, instructions or guidelines.

They can be used to invite people to attend meetings, conferences, give clarifications and feedback too. In other words, business memos help in saving time by providing an opportunity to avoid oral discussions in many situations.

Business memos can follow any channel of communication i.e., upward, downward and horizontal channel of communication. Downward memos, as the name indicates, are used to communicate with the subordinates while upward memos are sent by the subordinates to their respective seniors.

Horizontal memos are sent to people at the same level in terms of hierarchy being followed in the organisation. Memos follow the same writing principles as are abided by for writing the business letters.

However, unlike letters, which can be used for external public as well, memos are meant for the internal public and are less formal comparatively. They are in comparison to letters, less structured and follow a dialogue or conversational style of writing.

Business memos are concise, have unity of theme and clarity, and is divided in five categories namely a headline, date, name

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